Epic Games to pay $520M over COPPA, trick purchase charges
Epic Games, developer of the popular video game Fortnite, agreed to pay a record-breaking $520 million in penalties and restitution and adopt stronger privacy protections to settle allegations it violated online child privacy laws and employed illegal purchase patterns.
The developer violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and its related rule by collecting the names, email addresses, and other personal information of underage players without parental consent, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged. Epic Games was further cited for violating the FTC Act by implementing default privacy settings that could harm younger players.
Epic Games agreed to pay $275 million in civil penalties as part of its settlement filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The total is a record for a COPPA violation, the agencies noted.